Extra Large Irish Donegal CarpetRug #5085
A Rare Irish Donegal Carpet, Killybegs, Donegal County, Ireland, Wool on Wool Foundation
Early 20th Century
The plain ‘old gold’ field with small lobed charcoal spandrels enclosing an ivory palmette issuing two curled leaves linking to a smaller palmette, within a charcoal border enclosing continuous ‘in and out’ winged ivory gold and red palmettes alternating with red and ivory hexagonal cartouches linked by continuous bracket vines, flanked by narrow ‘old gold’ guard stripes enclosing continuous stylised flower heads and flora forms, plain charcoal surround
Handmade wool carpets classified as Irish Donegal carpets were produced in the town of Killybegs in County Donegal, Ireland, as a trade mark brand, named Donegal Carpets. The business was founded in 1898 by Alexander Morton, whose name is synonymous as a Pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement established in the last quarter of the 19th Century. The creation of hand made carpets in Donegal boasts an ancient tradition, and as such, Morton, who had first set up a carpet crafting house on the West coast of Ireland, capitalised on the experienced Donegal weavers and put into practice their established techniques as they had been working effectively with wool for generations. This ancient ‘Celtic’ tradition forms a significant and important part of the Donegal design repertoire, with carpets displaying unique previously unseen styles of design incorporating Celtic motifs and patterns to create highly decorative carpets which suited the vernacular orientation of the popular Arts and Crafts style of interior decoration. Morton also touched on looking East to Anatolia (Turkey) and Persia, for inspiration for carpet designs. Towards the end of the 19th Century Victorian era and the early years of the 20th Century Edwardian era, carpets from Anatolia and more specifically made in Ushak had become extremely popular in Western markets, their open stylised flora designs in deep rich colours incorporating shades of red, blue and green were particularly in tune with interior decoration trends of the time.
The Donegal carpet company recognised this and set about replicating these Ushak Anatolian carpets to respond to the huge demand. These distinctive carpets were later to be described as ‘Turkey’ carpets in the marketplace, and due to the close resemblance and method of making, the origins can often be confused and misattributed. The Irish Donegal Carpet Company also made individual highly decorative hybrids with no clear indication of sources of inspiration. The Irish Donegal carpet as seen here is a splendid rare example of Irish Donegal carpet weaving and appears to be such a hybrid. Plain fields as displayed here are seen in 19th Century Persian carpets, particularly from Feraghan in West Persia.
This Irish Donegal carpet presents a wonderfully rich open field in a deep ochre shade often referred to as ‘old gold’. The presence of relatively diminutive charcoal spandrels is courageous as it would perhaps have been easier to present larger spandrels, that on first consideration may have been more in tune to present, given the sheer scale and expanse of the main plain field. The curvilinear drawing of the flora forms in the spandrels is highly individual and gives no clue as to the exact origin of inspiration. This curvilinear drawing is also contradictory to the style of drawing as seen in the borders.The main border pattern is the ‘main activity’ and presents a highly decorative individual ‘Irish’ rendition of palmette, leaf and vine pattern rooted in Eastern carpet tradition, and is supported magnificently from a decorative and balance point of view by the minor border decoration. The border pattern details are drawn in an angular fashion, and simplistic in presentation, erring towards an Eastern tribal basis of inspiration rather than an urban workshop style of drawing which would in the main be more detailed and curvilinear in drawing. Overall this carpet presents a highly individual decorative carpet. This Irish Donegal carpet is an artistic triumph in true individual Irish Donegal carpet tradition. It clearly responds to the fashion of the times, epitomised by the Principals of the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Movement. Such carpets possess a timeless quality and like any outstanding work of art, can be placed in any setting.
Enjoy Complimentary Express Delivery at Checkout
Free express next-day delivery on all UK orders.
Free express delivery on all international orders above £2,000.
Estimated Delivery Times
Please allow between 1-3 days for UK, Europe and United States destinations and 5-7 days for Far East, South America, Middle East destinations.
Please note that orders placed after 12pm (UK time), on the weekend, or during holidays will be processed on the following business day. You will be provided with a shipping tracking number once your order has been shipped.
Collection from our Mayfair London showrooms
In-store collection will be ready within 1 business day. To collect in-store you will be required to show confirmation e-mail, official photo ID (passport or driving license) and the payment card used for the order. If someone else is collecting on your behalf, please make sure they bring a letter of authorisation that permits this person to collect on your behalf, official photo ID of the purchaser and of the person collecting and confirmation e-mail.
Essie Carpets offers clients a lifetime exchange service on any items purchased from us should you wish to change your carpets at any time in the future, subject to the item being in good condition; this can be particularly useful when redecorating your home, or when an upgrade in type or quality is desired.
Payments are accepted via credit card or debit card with a valid billing and shipping address*. Accepted credit cards are Visa, American Express, and Mastercard. When placing an order, your billing address must correspond to the address of your credit card, or we will not be able to process your order.
Bank Transfers are also accepted; in order to pay by Bank Transfer, please contact our Client Services via telephone at +44 20 7493 7766 or e-mail at email@example.com.
All transactions are secured. The Essie Carpets website is provided with an SSL encryption system to protect personal and payment data.